Coordination Favors Legal Textualism by Suppressing Moral Valuation

27 Pages Posted: 28 Nov 2021

See all articles by Ivar Hannikainen

Ivar Hannikainen

University of Sheffield - Department of Philosophy; Department of Philosophy I; Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio)

Kevin Tobia

Georgetown University Law Center; Georgetown University - Department of Philosophy

Guilherme Almeida

Yale University; affiliation not provided to SSRN

Noel Struchiner

PUC-Rio

Markus Kneer

University of Zurich

Piotr Bystranowski

Interdisciplinary Centre for Ethics; Jagiellonian University

Vilius Dranseika

Independent

Niek Strohmaier

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Samantha Bensinger

Yale Law School

Kristina Dolinina

Independent

Bartosz Janik

Independent

Egle Lauraityte

Vilnius University - Faculty of Law

Michael Laakasuo

University of Helsinki

Alice Liefgreen

University College London - Department of Experimental Psychology, Affective Brain Lab

Ivars Neiders

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Maciej Próchnicki

Independent

Alejandro Rosas Martinez

Independent

Jukka Sundvall

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Tomasz Żuradzki

Jagiellonian University in Krakow

Date Written: November 28, 2021

Abstract

A cross-cultural survey experiment revealed a general tendency to rely on a rule’s text over its purpose when deciding which acts violate the rule. This tendency’s strength varied markedly across (k = 13) field sites, owing to cultural differences in the impact of moral appraisals on judgments of rule violation. Next, we observed that legal experts were more strongly inclined to disregard their moral evaluations of the acts altogether, and they consequently demonstrated stronger textualist tendencies than did laypeople. Finally, we examined a plausible mechanism for the emergence of textualism in a two-player coordination game: Incentives to coordinate without communicating reinforced participants’ reliance on rules’ literal meaning. Together, these studies (total N = 5109) help clarify the origins and allure of legal textualism. While diverse legal actors may have varied personal assessments of rules’ moral purposes, rules’ literal meanings serve as clear focal points—easily identifiable points of agreement that enable coordination among diverse agents and judges.

Keywords: textualism, rules, meaning, law, purpose, experimental jurisprudence

Suggested Citation

Hannikainen, Ivar and Hannikainen, Ivar and Tobia, Kevin and Almeida, Guilherme and Struchiner, Noel and Kneer, Markus and Bystranowski, Piotr and Dranseika, Vilius and Strohmaier, Niek and Bensinger, Samantha and Dolinina, Kristina and Janik, Bartosz and Lauraityte, Egle and Laakasuo, Michael and Liefgreen, Alice and Neiders, Ivars and Próchnicki, Maciej and Rosas Martinez, Alejandro and Sundvall, Jukka and Zuradzki, Tomasz, Coordination Favors Legal Textualism by Suppressing Moral Valuation (November 28, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3973111 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3973111

Ivar Hannikainen

Department of Philosophy I ( email )

Cartuja Campus
Granada, Granada 18071
Spain

University of Sheffield - Department of Philosophy ( email )

Arts Tower
Western Bank
Sheffield S10 2TN
United Kingdom

Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio) ( email )

Rua Marquas de Sao Vicente, 225
Rio De Janeiro, RJ 22453-900
Brazil

Kevin Tobia (Contact Author)

Georgetown University Law Center ( email )

600 New Jersey Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20001
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.georgetown.edu/faculty/kevin-tobia/

Georgetown University - Department of Philosophy

37th and O Streets, N.W.
Washington, DC 20007
United States

Guilherme Almeida

Yale University ( email )

New Haven, CT 06520
United States
4756559847 (Phone)

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Noel Struchiner

PUC-Rio ( email )

Brazil

Markus Kneer

University of Zurich ( email )

Rämistrasse 71
Zürich, CH-8006
Switzerland

Piotr Bystranowski

Interdisciplinary Centre for Ethics; Jagiellonian University ( email )

Collegium Novum
ul. Gołębia 24
Kraków, 31-007
Poland
31-007 (Fax)

Vilius Dranseika

Independent ( email )

Niek Strohmaier

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Samantha Bensinger

Yale Law School ( email )

127 Wall Street
New Haven, CT 06510
United States

Kristina Dolinina

Independent

Bartosz Janik

Independent ( email )

Egle Lauraityte

Vilnius University - Faculty of Law ( email )

Saulėtekio ave. 9, building I
Vilnius, LT-10222
Lithuania

Michael Laakasuo

University of Helsinki ( email )

University of Helsinki
Helsinki, FIN-00014
Finland

Alice Liefgreen

University College London - Department of Experimental Psychology, Affective Brain Lab ( email )

26 Bedford Way
London, WC1H
United Kingdom

Ivars Neiders

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Maciej Próchnicki

Independent

Jukka Sundvall

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Tomasz Zuradzki

Jagiellonian University in Krakow ( email )

Collegium Novum
ul. Gołębia 24
Kraków, 31-007
Poland

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